Christopher Ræburn is a young UK designer known for his pioneering work creating ethically aware and innovative men’s and womenswear collections from re-appropriated military fabrics. An MA graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Art in 2006, Ræburn launched in 2008 his label utilising decommissioned military stocks of uniform and parachute fabrics to create functional, intelligent, and meticulously crafted garments. Ræburn’s namesake designs are proudly REMADE IN ENGLAND in his small East London production facility.
Ræburn’s intellectual aesthetics, exceptional quality and fastidious attention to detail caught the eye of Victorinox, creators of the Original Swiss Army Knife. The brand commissioned him to create a REMADE IN SWITZERLAND capsule collection for Autumn/Winter 2011. Ræburn first visited the Victorinox factory in Ibach, Switzerland. He also explored several ‘Liq. Shops’, as local military surplus stores are known, to source fabrics and inspiration for the capsule collection.
Ræburn returned to his London studio armed with samples of the surplus stock and began the process of deconstruction. By taking apart the existing garments, he found inspiration and ideas to create new ones, re-imagining unexpected uses for the old and challenging the concept of what is considered new. A rare find was a box of horseshoe nails that became the symbol of the project for Ræburn. Ræburn challenged Victorinox to recast that nail into scales for an Original Swiss Army Knife to complement the project. The nail also inspired a print used for linings and other graphic treatments.
When visiting the Victorinox factory, Ræburn discovered the house where Karl Elsener, the founder of the brand, established his workshop in 1884 and created the Original Swiss Army Knife. Ræburn and the Victorinox team decided to set up a Swiss LAB on that very site for the production of the capsule collection. Ræburn later sourced used sewing machines and equipment to furnish the Swiss LAB and invited local tailors and apprentices to work alongside his expert machinists to realise the final REMADE IN SWITZERLAND products.
Ræburn conceived a capsule of 8 items, each to be produced in a hand-numbered Limited Edition of 100 pieces.
‘The project is a fantastic opportunity to align the innovation and individuality of Christopher Ræburn brand with the heritage and quality of Victorinox. Built to last, the resulting garments constructed from re-appropriated Swiss military fabrics are a celebration of craft and a reaction to fast fashion. REMADE IN SWITZERLAND is truly unique’ says Ræburn.
•CAPTAIN’S COAT constructed from re-appropriated Swiss wool coats dating back up to 60 years and lined with over-dyed surplus Swiss military cotton bed sheets.
•OFFICER’S PARKA constructed from surplus Swiss military sleeping bag outers, 2 front chest pockets featuring reused original military Riri zips.
•COCOON BLOUSON constructed from surplus Swiss military sleeping bags, reinforced with waterproof sleeping bag outer, can be roll packed like original sleeping bag.
•PARACHUTE HOODIE constructed from 2 colours of surplus Swiss military air-brake parachutes, tape from original parachutes and jersey cuffs from military balaclavas.
•SENTRY’S SCARF constructed from surplus Swiss military blankets and over-dyed surplus Swiss military cotton bed sheets.
•RECRUIT’S CAP constructed from offcuts of surplus Swiss military wool jackets and over-dyed cotton bed sheets, side panels can flip down to cover ears or fold up.
•DUFFLE BACKPACK constructed from surplus heavy canvas Swiss tarpaulin with integrated original buckles.
•HORSESHOE NAIL KNIFE crafted from surplus military horseshoe nails melted down and recast as knife scales, packaged in reclaimed original coated paper box that held the nails.
Victorinox produces and sells unique, high quality products worldwide, which are of practical use in differing areas of life: Swiss Army Knives, Cutlery, Timepieces, Travel Gear, Fashion and Fragrances. The head office of the company is in Ibach, Schwyz, in the heart of Switzerland. This is where the founder of the company Karl Elsener first set up his cutler’s business in 1884 and, a few years later, designed the legendary “Original Swiss Army Knife”.
For more information on the collection visit www.remadeinswitzerland.com